Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tips: All about Expiration Date

I was not so aware of expiration dates for beauty products, but I think it is very important to pay attention to them, especially for skincare products. First, where can we find expiration dates? Usually, companies print either period after opening (PAO) or expiration date on the container. Expiration date is straightforward which means you need to toss out the product before the date. It usually reads ‘EXP**/**’ or ‘Best by**/**’.

As to PAO, you need to find “open jar” sign with a number followed by the letter M, which indicates the time period (in months) the product can be safely used after opening.

In the picture above, the first product can last 12 months upon opening while 24 months for the second one.
Every time I open a new container, I write the date on a sticker and attach it to the container, so I always know when I should throw out the product. I find it is very beneficial in some other ways. For example, if you have unusual breakouts/allergy reactions, you can check the stickers to pinpoint the product that causes the problem.

As to makeup items, I only use this method to liquid and cream products because powders do last quite a long time. Also, since I have sensitive eyes, I do track the date of eyeliners.
I am definitely not being comprehensive, but I really want to share my opinions on it. Thanks for reading!


  1. I'm obsessed with reading expiration dates 

  2. I never noticed the 24m on packages before I always thought it was just a number. Thanks on that insight great post.

  3. Yes expiration dates are very important. But honestly, I sometimes don't care. I have so many mascara's that I'm using at the same time, that I can't empty them all in 3 months. And I'm rarely using face powder, but I like to have one in my possession just in case I feel like wearing it. I do wash my brushes after every single use, so I think it's OK to keep these a little longer... 
    Let's also be aware that these companies know that we can't use all our products in a year time, and it makes them happy if we toss them and buy others, but is it really necessary? Are they really bad after a year if we keep them clean?

  4.  Usually I throw out mascaras after 6 months and by then they either dry up or are used up.
    I don't care about the expiration dates of powders either. As long as powders do not cake on me, I just keep using them till the end.
    But I'm very careful with eyeliner because once I had one itchy blister on my lower lash line due the the use of an expired gel eyeliner.
    I think it depends, if your skin does not react, I guess it's fine.

  5. I did read somewhere that it is not about use. It is about the preservatives within the product wearing out and not being in its prime.

  6. This is incredibly helpful. I think I am going to start jogging down expiration dates too. I have been using my Missha BB Cream and realized it started to break me out. I didn't noticed it but the BB cream has already expired. Ewww right? I sure learned my lesson for that one.

  7.  I had similar experience when I was lazy with tracking expiration dates. I guess we all learn something from the past eventually.


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